With credibility leading the advertising discussion, the primary question is now who to trust. We spoke with TrinityP3‘s Darren Woolley about the new challenges CMOs face.
So far in 2017, we’ve seen trust, viewability and credibility take a front row seat on DigiDay, Mark Ritson claims that we have a giant ‘death myth‘ in the industry, and brand safety a hot topic with brands placing scrutiny on where their ads are being seen; The Big Smoke speaks to TrinityP3‘s Darren Woolley about what 2017 looks like for CMOs so far.
TBS: What do you often hear as the biggest concern in 2017 from CMOs, when it comes to selecting agencies?
Darren: There are three major concerns for marketers when selecting agencies. The first is the complexity of the offerings in the marketplace and being able to sort through the various agency capabilities. Second is the time it takes properly to participate in, let alone manage, the agency review as few people in marketing have any spare time to accommodate an agency search and selection process. The third is often the sense of disappointment as they will go to market hoping to find an incremental improvement over their current situation only to find it is not available or requires an increased investment they cannot afford.
Do you think the hype in the US on avoidance of certain inventory is as prevalent here amongst media buyers?
The concerns over brand safety and the avoidance of particular channels or inventory create short-term opportunity for the more astute and digital savvy advertiser, with some reporting some great deals on YouTube and the like when the major brands were blacklisting them over what was a relatively limited issue around brand safety. Generally, the local market did not react as much as the US advertisers, where media transparency has become the mantra of the ANA, especially championed by their Chairman, P&G CMO Mark Pritchard. But interestingly, during the same period, digital ad spends have continued to grow.
When dealing with CMO’s what is the one metric you think they pay too much attention to? One that is far more useless than they’d like to admit?
The use of ad impressions for digital channels is firstly a hangover from traditional media, in trying to measure the audience size. Traditional media was always based on audience delivery, and the adoption of these metrics by the digital media sellers have delivered great number in reach and cost per thousands making it appear a valuable measure. But secondly, advertisers have since discovered that ad fraud, view-ability and measurement anomalies have effectively been inflating these metrics for years. In fact, metrics like ad impressions are hugely deceptive and yet many advertisers are unwilling to let go of this measure because the numbers on the surface continue to look good, even knowing they are fatally flawed.
What measures do you believe should be put in place to minimise wastage, or at least identify it?
For too long marketing has been treated as a cost of business in the absence of a return on the investment. Zero Based Budgeting – properly adopted – helps to address this by focusing marketing investment on delivering short, medium and longer term return on that investment. But in the absence of ZBB marketers should be embracing performance metrics relevant to the marketing strategy, which is aligned with the business strategy. The role of marketing and business is to create customers and to maximise the value of that relationship. All metrics should be measuring performance and productivity in equal measure to ensure improved return on marketing investment.
What do you think brands lose when they don’t have a strategic partnership in place when navigating their marketing and ad budgets?
Just as marketers should be focusing on performance and productivity, there is a need for all organisations to have people and processes to monitor both. There is no point driving sales at the expense of margin. Likewise, there is no point driving efficiency at the expense of effectiveness. The problem for many marketers is that they are often surrounded by agencies, suppliers and vendors all providing advice on achieving their performance metrics as part of their sales pitch. Without a focus on both performance and productivity, marketers will often find themselves hostage to whoever has something to sell, either explicitly or implicitly, leading to poor investment decisions.
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